Chapter 7: Physical Development of Infants

Chapter 7: Physical
Development of Infants
Section 1: Infant Growth and
Section 2: Caring for an Infant
Section 3: Infant Health and Wellness
Chapter Objectives
 IDENTIFY the four major influences on an infant’s growth
and development
 SUMMARIZE how a baby typically grows in the first year
 EXPLAIN how to safely hold a baby
 IDENTIFY how to meet a baby’s nutritional needs
 DESCRIBE the best type of clothing suitable for a baby
 DESCRIBE how to bathe a baby
 EXPLAIN why checkups and immunizations are important
for babies
Infant Growth and
Section 1
Influences on Growth and
 Developmental milestones are key skills used to
check a child’s progress
 Heredity (nature)
 Nutrition
 Health
 Environment (nurture)
 At various times, one or more factor plays an
important role
Our genetic blueprint
Children inherit combinations
of genes that determine traits
Eye color, hair color, when teeth first
Having certain genes does not
mean a child will exhibit those
Children must be stimulated to help
express those genes
 Newborns are constantly
 A healthy baby is more likely
growing and developing,
even while sleeping
to eat well and have energy
to be active
 Proper nutrition fuels
 Have varied experiences
 Brain development,
bone strength, and
 Not enough nutrients can
cause illness, delayed
growth, or death
that stimulate the brain and
aid in muscle development
 Infants in poor health can
fall behind in development
 Provide a safe environment
 Regular medical check-ups
• Infancy is a critical period
•Failure to achieve normal brain
development can have lifelong effects
•Stimulating environment is an
environment in which the baby
has a wide variety of things to
•An environment lacking in
stimulation can cause fewer or
weaker connections
•EX: Language skills
•Environmental factors can
have negative effects
•Second-hand smoke can cause
allergies, respiratory infections,
bronchitis, and asthma
Growth and
During the First
Fastest growth period than any
Growth charts show the
average weight and height of
girls and boys at various ages
Few babies match the
Growth During the 1st Year
 Best sign of good health
 Newborns lose 10% of their
weight within the first 5 days
 Gained back after 2 weeks
 First 6 months, babies gain 1-
2 pounds per month
 Birth weight doubles in the
first year
 Average weight is 20-22 lbs.
 In the 1st year, doctors
measure length rather
than height because
babies are measured
laying down
 Bone growth is rapid
during this time
 Heredity has a stronger
influence on height than
Growth During the 1st Year:
Body Shape
 Newborns like to be curled up
 Fists clenched, arms and legs bent, feet curved inward
Head is elongated from birth
Arms and legs are skinny
Abdomen is large
 As babies grow
 They gradually stretch out their arms and legs and uncurl their
 Legs and feet generally straighten out during the first 6 months
 Typically babies are chubby
 By 8 months, babies begin practicing standing
 Posture includes protruding belly and a slight lean forward
Growth During the 1st Year:
 Proportion refers to the size
relationship between
different parts of the body
 A baby’s head and
abdomen are large
 Legs and arms are short
and small
 Head grows rapidly to
accommodate the
growing brain
Patterns of Physical Development
Head to Foot
Near to Far
 Pattern happens long
 Starts close to the body
 Baby’s first develop some
 Example:
 Babies first wave their arms
when they see something
they want
 Eventually moves to
more precise hand and
finger control
 Finally reaching out
and grasping the
before birth
head control movements
 Control of muscles then
moves down the body
 12 month mark a baby
develops all the skills
needed to walk
and moves outwards
Patterns of Physical Development
Simple to Complex
 Babies first develop their
large muscle groups then
move to their complex
(smaller) muscle groups
 Large muscle groups
 Neck, arms, torso, and legs
 Complex movements
 Head, rolling, reaching,
 At birth, vision is blurry
 After a week, a baby is aware
of the environment
 Can focus on objects 7-10”
 By six months, eyesight reaches
clarity of an adult
 Depth perception is the ability
to perceive objects that are 3D
Baby’s see in 2D at first
 Can track people’s movements
 Judging distance when
reaching for objects
 Baby's prefer patterns and
contrasting colors
Sense of hearing develops before birth
Full-term babies can already tell
general directions of sounds and
Newborns respond to the tone of a
By 7 months, babies can recognize
parents/ caregivers voices
Language development begins with
hearing spoken words first
Imitating words
Understanding words
Preemies that have frequent ear
infections tend to have more hearing
Delay in language development
 Newborns explore the
world through touch
 Touch builds trust
 One of the most important
senses in the 1st year
 As grasping and grabbing
for objects develop,
babies use touch for
Smell and Taste
 Smell develops after birth
 Sense of smell develops quickly
in newborns
 Within 10 day’s a baby can
distinguish its mothers smell from
 Taste develops rapidly
 2 week-old babies can taste the
difference in
 Water, sour liquids, sugar
solutions, salt solutions, and
 Babies show preference to
 In the 1st year, EVERYTHING
goes into a baby’s mouth
How babies learn about their
A newborns cry is shrill but
soften as lungs mature
Change occurs due to the
development of throat
muscles, tongue, lips, teeth,
and vocal cords
Tongue and mouth change in
shape during 1st moths of life
Babies babble to learn to
Talking and singing to babies
helps aid in language
 A reflex is an instinctive,
automatic response
 The Sucking Reflex- stimulated
when something is put in a
baby’s mouth
 The Rooting Reflex- baby’s cheek
is stroked
 The Moro Reflex- baby to throws
out arms back with clenched fists
when startled
 Other Automatic Reflexes Shutting the eyes under bright light
 Grabbing a finger when placed in
the hand
 Stepping motions when feet touch
the floor
Motor Skills
Gross Motor
 A skill that involves the large
muscles of the body
 Shoulders
 Have to do with the ability to
make large movements
 Running
 Gross motor develops quickly
 From top to bottom, near to far
 Control over the head is the first
gross motor skill a newborn has
Fine Motor
 Smaller muscles of the body
 Fingers
 Require small precise
 Slower to develop
 3 months, baby’s clinched fists
have relaxed
 Grabbing objects
 Reaching for objects by 5 or 6
months or passing blocks from
hand to hand
Motor Skills
Gross Motor
Fine Motor
Hand-Eye Coordination
 Ability to move the hands and
fingers precisely in relation to
what is seen
 Newborns have poor hand-eye
Develops as vision and motor
skills improve
 3-4 months, babies begin to
reach and grab for objects and
bring them to their mouth
 End of 1st year, babies can
grab an object and put it in
another place
Caring for an Infant
Section 2
Handling a Baby: Holding
 Many reasons baby’s need to be held
 Changed, fed, bathed, dressed, cuddled, hugged
 Safety, physical care, and emotional bonding
are involved in holding a baby
 Newborns require careful handing
 Neck muscles are not strong enough to support
the head
 By 4 months, babies can hold up their head
without support
Handling a Baby: Bedtime
 Sleep allows the release of chemicals in the body that
contribute to growth
 Babies that are active need more sleep than an
inactive baby
 Additional stimulation can cause a baby to need
more sleep
 Safety precautions are needed when putting a baby
to sleep
 Babies should be placed faced up
 Constant bedtime routines are essential
 Crying vs. Self-Soothing
Sleep Patterns
Hours of Sleep
•Takes 4-6 naps, each 3-4 hours
•Wakefulness may last a few hours
3 Months
•Amount of sleep decreases, longer
naps 4-5 hours
•Longer sleep periods at night
4 Months
•Naps in midmorning/afternoon
•Sleeps at night
6 Months
•6 hours at night
•2 long naps during day
12 Months
12 hours
•9-10 hours at night
•1-2 naps during day
 Amount of sleep needed decreases during the 1st year
 Newborns sleep 12-20 hours
 2-3 sleep periods
Responding to Cries
 Important to respond to cries
 Crying is how babies express
their needs
 Hungry
 Feeling cold
 Startled
 Steps
 Make sure baby is fed,
comfortable, and dry
 Try rocking, talking, singing, or
other comforting techniques
Shaken Baby Syndrome
Also known as SBS/AHT (Shaken Baby Syndrome/ Acute Head Trauma)
NEVER vigorously shake or jiggle a baby
Thousands of babies suffer serious problems from SBS
Shaken Baby Syndrome is a condition that occurs when someone
severely shakes a baby, usually in an effort to make the baby to stop
Can lead to:
Brain damage
Mental retardation
Cerebral palsy
Injury to the neck or spine
Shaken Baby Syndrome
 1,300 children experienced
severe or fatal head trauma
from child abuse every year
 20% of cases are fatal within
the first few days after injury
 Medical costs can range
from $300,000 to more than
$1 Million
-National Center on Shaken Baby
Video from The Doctors on
Shaken Baby Syndrome
Feeding an Infant: Nutritional
1st year primary nutrition is through breast milk or formula
6 months solid foods can be introduced
Watery, rice cereal
Other cereals
Fruits and vegetables
8 months, half of their calories are from solid food and half from formula
or breast milk
By 1st birthday, most food should be in the solid form
Babies under age 1 should not be fed cows milk because it is too hard
to digest
Lacks important nutrients
Infants should not have fruit juices
May curb or limit the child’s appetite
Promote tooth decay
Nutritional Needs
Breast Milk
 All nutrients babies need
 Contains antibodies
 Substance produced to
fight off germs and infection
 Colostrum
 Germ-free
 Easy to digest
 Fewer ear-infections
 Lacks vitamin D
 Specially made to meet
nutritional needs
 Milk-based formulas are
used often
 Soy-based formula is also
 3-forms
 Ready to use
 Concentrated liquid that is
mixed with water
 Powder mixed with water
Feeding Methods
Breast and Bottle-Feeding
 Breast-feeding is very natural
 Takes practice
 Some are unable
 Bottle-feeding
 Bottles should be washed in a
dishwasher with hot, sudsy
water, followed by a boiling
 Infants prefer bottles at room
temperature or warm
 Hold baby’s head in a semiupright position
 Never leave a bottle in bed with
a baby
 Tooth decay
 More ear infections
Burping Baby
 Babies must be burped from time
to time to release air swallowed
during feeding
 Without burping
 Baby may spit up
 Irritable
 Gassy
 Good rule is burp twice during
 Experiment with burping positions;
what is most comfortable for
 Babies may not burp each time,
but give them the opportunity
Introducing Solid Foods
 Weaning is changing from
 8-10 months when babies
 No selected time for
 Use finger foods to
drinking from a bottle or
breast to a cup
 9-12 months typically
 Approach gradually
 Gives babies an
opportunity to get used to
drinking formula or milk
 Never force weaning
can sit in a highchair, reach,
and eat food alone
encourage self-feeding
 Avoid foods that can get
stuck easily in baby’s throat
 Using utensils? Babies show
no interest in until typically
 Introduce early
Introducing Solid Foods
Nutritional Concerns
 Eat nutritious, well-balanced diets
 Grains
 Fruits
 Vegetables
 Protein
 Soft and easy to gum or chew
 Avoid salty snacks
 Malnutrition in infancy can cause
lasting physical conditions
Malnutrition is inadequate nutrition
 Government and Community
 An allergy is an
oversensitivity to a particular
common substance that is
harmless to most people
 Immune system attacks the
 Reactions to
 Food
 Breathing in something
 Injected with something
 Touching something
 Watch for signs of allergies
in babies (Food Allergy
 Excessive crying
 Vomiting
 8 or more watery stools a
 Babies should not eat
 Eggs
 Citrus fruits
 Honey
 Peanut butter
 Corn
 Shellfish
Dressing Baby
Choosing Clothing
 Size is determined by weight
and age
 Not be too snug
 Not too large
 Features are important
 Snaps on inner legs
 Shirts that snap rather than
 Longer Use? Get clothes
that can be cuffed or
elastic waist bands
Infant Health and Wellness
Section 3
Bathing a Baby
Sponge Bath
 Newborns should have
until their navels heal
 Soft, clean sponge and
warm water
 Avoid navel area
 Clean using rubbing
alcohol and cotton swab
Tub Bath
 Portable tub or sink
 Wait until baby can sit on
his/her own before using a
full size tub
 2-3 months
 Baths 2 to 3 times a week
 7-8 months
 Playing with floating toys
 Splashing
How to Bathe a Baby
 Prepare for the baby’s bath:
 Bathtub
 Towels
 Washcloths
 Shampoo
 Other supplies
 Test tub temperature with
your arm
 Only undress baby when
you are ready to start the
 Put the baby in the tub:
 Support a young baby’s
neck and head
 Hold the body with the
other hand
 Lower into the tub feet first
 Wash baby’s face
 Wash and rinse the baby’s
 Wash the baby’s foot
 Dry the baby’s body
Cradle Crap
 Skin condition known for
yellowish, crusty patches
on scalp
 Most cases disappear in
within a few weeks
 Treatment by washing the
baby’s scalp with a mild
 Baby oil and excessive
washing can worsen the
scales or dry the skin
Diapering a Baby
 Very young babies need diapering changes 12-
15 times a day
 Newborns wet several times an hour but in small
amounts that don’t require changing every time
 Diaper rash is a common condition that includes
patches of rough, red, irritated skin in the diaper
 Controlling bacteria in diapers helps prevent the
 Treatment with creams, frequent changing, and
cleaning of the area
Diaper Options
 Personal choice to use cloth or disposable
 Each has advantages and disadvantages
 Doctors and nurses can offer advice
 Designate a changing area
 Any flat, clean surface may be used
 Diaper bags are used for outings away from
 Economical if washed at
 Cost more if washed by a
commercial diaper service
 More environmentally
 More convenient and
effective at keeping baby
 Some develop sensitivity to
disposables causing
diaper rash
 Add significantly to
environmental waste
How to Change a Diaper
•Clean diaper area
Fresh Diaper
•Hold ankles
•Slide diaper under
•Bring between legs
•Throw away wipes
and disposable
•Dirty cloth diapers
should be stored to
be cleaned
Health Care: Teeth
 Begins about 6th week of pregnancy
 Breaks through the gums around the 6 month mark
 First set of teeth is called primary teeth
 Complete set is in by 20 months of age
 Babies start teething at 4 months of age
 Teething is the process of the teeth pushing their way
through the gums
 Swell and tender
 Babies are cranky, fuss during meals, low-grade fever,
and want to chew on something hard
Health Care: Teeth
 To help with teething:
 Massage gums
 Cold, hard, unbreakable
teething rings
 Not recommended
 Medications
 Numbing gels
 Cleaning
 Wipe with damp cloth or a soft
baby’s toothbrush
 Best to clean gums prior to
 Fluoride after 6 months of age
Infant Safety Concerns
Keep things off the floor
Food and small objects are choking
Keep all medicines, household
cleaners, paints and other
hazardous materials locked away
Keep away plastic bags
No loose blankets or stuffed animals
in cribs
Use safety covers on electrical
Water heater should never be set
higher than 120 degrees
Never leave a baby in or near water
Can drown in 1-2” of water
Infants should wear large brimmed
hats and sunglasses, lightweight
long sleeves and pants
6 months of age, sunscreen
Do not leave a baby alone on any
raised area
Flame retardant (sleepwear)
Never leave a baby alone with an
Regular Check-Ups
 Doctors thorough check-up
 All body parts
 Reflexes
 Fontanels
 Heart rate and breathing
 Skin color
 Umbilical stump
 Nostrils and mouth
 Eyes
 Baby’s weight, length and head circumference
Regular Check-Ups
 Follow-up visits
 2-3 days after birth
 1 month
 2 months
 4 months
 6 months
 9 months
 12 months
 Immunizations
 Shot of a small amount of a
dead or weakened disease
carrying germ given so that the
body builds resistance to the
given disease
 Vaccine
 The disease carrying germ that
usually is injected to the body
 Body produces antibodies after
 State and schools have
regulations that require certain
immunizations before being let
in the building
Watching for Illness
 Signs of Illness
 Irritability
 Lack of energy
 Constipation
 Nasal congestion
 Persistent coughing
 Diarrhea
 Rashes
 Vomiting
 Fever
 Some experts believe with
some illnesses the baby
needs to fight it off alone to
build immune system

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